Times 2

Girls equal in British throne succession

PERTH, (BBC) - Sons and daughters of any future UK monarch will have equal right to the throne, after Commonwealth leaders agreed to change succession laws. The leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries where the Queen is head of state unanimously approved the changes at a summit in Perth, Australia on Friday.

It means a first-born daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would take precedence over younger brothers. The ban on the monarch being married to a Roman Catholic was also lifted. Under the old succession laws, dating back more than 300 years, the heir to the throne is the first-born son of the monarch. Only when there are no sons, as in the case of the Queen's father George VI, does the crown pass to the eldest daughter.

The succession changes will require a raft of historic legislation to be amended, including the 1701 Act of Settlement, the 1689 Bill of Rights and the Royal Marriages Act 1772. The change to the Royal Marriages Act will end a position where every descendant of George II is legally required to seek the consent of the monarch before marrying.

In future, the requirement is expected to be limited to a small number of the sovereign's close relatives.
Announcing the succession changes, Prime Minister David Cameron said they would apply to descendents of the Prince of Wales. They will not be applied retrospectively.

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